Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Graduation Gift Ideas

Cool Gift Ideas for Graduates.

Graduating from college or university is a great achievement which is why you want to find something special to give the graduate in your life. Plush toys, jewelry and other items that they can keep and look at with a smile on their face as they carve out the rest of their lives are perfect.

I've rounded up some cool graduation gift ideas for you here that I hope you'll enjoy. I particularly like the plush in the introduction image and this would be fantastic for a doctor or biologist in particular - an actual brain cell plush for a brainiac, why couldn't I have come up with that idea myself - it's priceless!

Plush Toys for Graduates

When I was younger I saw this beautiful plush owl that was dressed in a graduation gown and I thought it would've been perfect as something to keep as a momento. That was when I had just started high school and I haven't seen such a cute owl plush since!

There are some great plush toys that work well though like the brain cell plush in the introduction as well as a selection of teddies complete with mortar boards.

I'm featuring this brain cell again because I really like it and I wish I knew someone who was about to graduate - hopefully they'll still be available when my niece graduates in 3 years if all goes according to her plans as she will love it!

There are lots of different teddy bears available, some clutching diplomas, some (like this one) holding onto photo frames, but the one thing they all seem to have is the obligatory mortar board on their heads. Not everyone will appreciate a plush toy as a gift, but I still have a teddy bear that my late grandfather gave me when I was born (so it's really old now!) and I know quite a few people who have kept plush toys that have held a special meaning to them for years.

Graduation Bobbleheads

A Fun Gift That is Sure to be Appreciated

If I had seen these bobbleheads when my brother graduated he would definitely have gotten one because it's the type of thing he would've appreciated. You can get them for males and females and add their photo to personalize it.

The great thing about bobbleheads is they can keep them on a shelf at home, in their office when they go to work or even stick it on the dashboard of their car. They're also irresistible, I mean who doesn't love these figures when they bob up and down!

Graduating Jewelry

Perfect as a Keepsake Gift

This is a gorgeous bracelet that would make a great gift, but there are lots of jewelry gifts you can get for both boys and girls. If they're planning on travelling after graduation then you could get them a St. Christopher pendant and inscribe the back of it with a message along the lines of Graduating Class 2014 or Congrats on Graduating (date).

There are lots of different pendants available which are occupation specific and are perfect if they've graduated as an accountant, doctor, lawyer etc.

Fun Graduation Gifts

If you're looking at getting a gift for a friend or sibling and you just want to get them something fun then I have a couple of cool ideas for you here.

Graduation Rubber Duck
Rubber Duckies are just plain fun in my opinion and can just sit on the side of the bath and look cute or can float around and keep you company while you relax.

Did you know that even Queen Elizabeth II has a rubber ducky? I bet she doesn't have one donning a mortar board and carrying a diploma though!

Lego Minifigures Series 5 - Graduate
If they enjoy Lego then this is a no brainer as a graduation gift and I think it's awesome. Try looking at the huge smile on this minifigure and not smile back!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Pearl Heart Pendants

Pearls are often thought of as bridal jewelry which just shows how they represent purity, love and romance and so a pearl pendant would make a great ‘I Love You’ gift for someone. Hearts are also synomonous with love and romance as you can see with the increase in the sales of heart shaped jewelry around Valentine’s Day. If you combine pearl pendants with heart shaped jewelry then you have an awesome gift idea for the person you love whether it’s for their birthday, Christmas, Valentines or just a way to tell them they’re very special.

Pearls come in lots of different colors from the traditional white pearls that are often seen adorning the necks of brides to the beautiful black pearls and several colors in between. These heart shaped pearl necklaces are absolutely beautiful so let’s have a look at them….

Pearl Jewelry and Romance

Pearls were held in very high esteem by the Romans and were extremely valuable. Despite (or possibly because of it) the high cost of pearls the Romans were obsessed with them with women adding pearls not only to their clothing, but their upholstery as well.

Anxious to avoid going to war with Rome, Cleopatra wagered Marc Anthony that she would serve him the most expensive dinner in history. He turned up to find a goblet of wine and an empty plate.

Cleopatra then took one ear ring from a pair of pearl ear rings and crushed the pearl before pouring the pearl powder into her wine and taking a drink.

It is said that Marc Anthony chose not to eat his pearl ear ring, although I’m not sure what became of it. The rest as the say is history…….

Personally a crushed pearl wouldn’t make a romantic dinner for me, but giving a piece of pearl jewelry over a special dinner for two definitely has the potential to lead to a great love affair like Cleopatra and Marc Anthony had.

White Pearl Heart Pendants

Pearls Are The Jewel of Love

In ancient Greece Plato referred to the pearl as the ultimate representation of completeness. Why? Well the pearl starts off it’s life as male and evolves into a female. It stands to reason then that giving a pearl pendant is a great way to say, in the words of Jerry Maguire, you complete me.

Add to Plato’s reference the fact that the pearl is a circle which has no beginning and no end it’s very much like a wedding ring that is supposed to represent everlasting love.

More White Pearl Heart Necklaces


14kt Two Tone Pearl Heart Pendant - XCH472Check Price
George Frederick Kunz was a nineteenth century gemologist and he's credited with a quote that I think really helps to sum up part of the allure of pearls and the reason that people have adored pearls for centuries.....and will continue to do so.

"The pearl owes nothing to man. It is absolutely a gift of nature on which man cannot improve."

This quote really says it all and is, possibly, one of the reasons that as a gem it is revered in many different religions from Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism.

In Judaism and Christianity the pearl is said to represent Jesus himself, the Koran refers to pearls as one of the great rewards found in Paradise. In the Hindu religion pearls play an important part in marriage ceremonies as they represent purity.

Heart Shaped Jewelry

When did hearts start to become symbols of love? I think around the time that people started to realize that if their hearts stopped beating they would die. Essentially giving someone your heart is like telling someone that they are the only reason for you to live - what could be a more romantic gesture.

Of course the actual heart isn't really that appealing in looks so we tend to use what my daughter used to refer to as lovehearts. Where did this internationally recognisable symbol of love originate? Well there are lots of ideas, but no one is really sure what we can say is that the red color that is usually associated with is definately because it symbolizes passion!

Take your pick out of the theories for the origin of the loveheart, if you know of one not listed, please let me know in the comments section.
  • Early representation of what was believed to be the human heart.
  • The seed of the silphium plant (an ancient herbal contraceptive).
  • Symbolism of parts of a woman's body.
  • From a Saint Margaret Mary Alocoque vision of the 'Sacred Heart of Jesus'.

Wherever the loveheart originated it is synomonous with romance which is why heart shaped jewelry is such a popular gift on Valentine's Day or for anniversaries. When combined with gemstones that have special meaning then the heart shaped jewelry becomes even more special.

More Pearl Heart Pendants

Of course you can get pearls in lots of different colors not just the white pearls. There are lavender pearls, chocolate pearls, green pearls, grey pearls, black pearls and pink pearls. Let's see what other pearl heart pendants you can find to surprise the love of your life....

Steampunk Dolls

Gorgeous & Unique - Who Wouldn't Like a Steampunk Doll?

With the rise in popularity of the Steampunk culture it’s hardly a shock to find that there’s a section of the collectible doll market made especially for steampunk inspired dolls. You can find some great OOAK (one of a kind) Steampunk dolls as well as one’s by the likes of Pullip Dolls, Ashton Drake and Marie Osmond. Even some of the Mattel dolls could be considered steampunk.

You can find out more about steampunk on my Steampunk page and once you’ve read that I’m sure you’ll be sucked into the incredible adventurous world it encompasses! From corsets to goggles, airships to mechanical contraptions steampunk is fun, unique and I guess plain quirky …… it also seems to appeal to a wide range of different people because every steampunk inspired adventure is different.

Let’s delve further into the world of Steampunk Dolls……

Regular Dolls that Hint at Steampunk

When you think of the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland you’re actually envisioning someone who is standing tall and proud in steampunk regalia which is why some of the high street stores have steampunk inspired dolls - they’re called Mad Hatter Dolls!

These dolls are so much fun, let’s look at them individually.

Barbie Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland Mad Hatter Doll
Since 2010 you haven't been able to talk about the Mad Hatter without referencing the talented combination of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp which is why I just had to include the official Barbie Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland Pink Label collectible. Any fan of the movie would love this doll as it really is a great collectible, but there are others to choose from......

Pullip Dolls Isul Classical Alice Mad Hatter 12
Next up I've included a Pullip doll - these are great dolls and this is a very female take on the Mad Hatter character.

Pullip dolls have a big head which helps to give them the Gothic twist they're known for and for this particular doll they were looking for a more classic version of the Mad Hatter.

Mezco Toyz Living Dead Dolls Alice In Wonderland Figure Cybil as The Mad Hatter

The last Mad Hatter doll I've selected for you is from Mezco Toyz Living Dead Doll collection, as the name implies this is a very macabre range of dolls which really appeals to Goth fans and I think they've managed to really tap into the dark side of the Mad Hatter really well with this doll.

Ever After High & Monster High Steampunk Dolls

Monster High Robecca Steam Doll

When it comes to the above two series of popular dolls from Mattel you can get a couple of different dolls that also fit and they are Robecca Storm from Monster High who has a mechanical pet along with goggles on her head both strong indicators that she is in fact a Steampunker!

Ever After High Madeline Hatter Doll

With Ever After High we’re introduced to the Mad Hatter’s daughter – Madeline Hatter – Maddie is definitely her father’s daughter and we see the delightful steampunk influences in her wardrobe …. along with homages to tea which I love!!

Want More of a Steampunk Influence?

These following dolls were created from the outset to be Steampunkers and they are absolutely gorgeous!

Pullip Steampunk Dolls

By far the brand of dolls that I’ve seen embrace Steampunk the most just has to be Pullip and they have made more Steampunk dolls than I can include in one place so I’m just going to show you a few of my favorites.

A Few More Steampunk Dolls

Of course there are more brands that make Steampunk inspired dolls and I have a couple more to show you, but there are also other Steampunk dolls which are called OOAK dolls. OOAK means one of a kind and are dolls that have been designed as (like the name implies) one offs, the best place to find these are ebay and there are some gorgeous ones available ...... at a price that is!

I absolutely love this doll as she really looks like a Steampunker who would take no prisoners. Her red hair looks absolutely striking against her dark outfit and it really is the type of Steampunk costume that I love - what do you think?

If you're after a more 'cutesy' take on Steampunk then you might prefer this Marie Osmond doll....

Marie Osmond: Adora Belle Sasha Steampunk Ball Jointed Doll, 13

This doll has a much 'lighter' look and I can see her appeal, although she's not one of my favorites as I think she seems too 'safe' if that makes sense! She is a collectible doll, however and if you love Marie Osmond's style of doll she is a must have.